Yankees insiders speculate team's offseason recourse for Giancarlo Stanton

The Yankees might need to admit defeat here.
New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays / Kelly Gavin/GettyImages

Giancarlo Stanton can still play baseball despite his struggles, but what's he's offering is no longer of use to the New York Yankees. He was supposed to be the 1a masher behind Aaron Judge, but it just hasn't really worked out.

His remaining contract isn't necessarily a problem, but it's definitely a weight of sorts on the Yankees and it's not exactly attractive to potential trade suitors. Unless ... Hal Steinbrenner wants to sacrifice some money out of his own pockets for the sake of this roster (and maybe charge Brian Cashman for some of the damages).

That's what Yankees insiders Chris Kirschner and Brendan Kuty speculated in their recent mailbag from The Athletic (subscription required). They also went as far to wonder if the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and LA Angels of Anaheim would be suitors for the slugger.

The first thing we need to remember is that Stanton has a full no-trade clause. He controls where he goes next. The second factor here is what happens in the offseason. None of those teams' first move will be inquiring about Stanton. Some dominos will need to fall in order for his potential departure to occur.

It mainly hinges on Shohei Ohtani and JD Martinez. Ohtani's injury could knock him out for all of 2024 (as a batter and pitcher), while Martinez's possible departure from LA could create a considerable hole in the Dodgers' lineup (especially if they were banking on Ohtani to fill it). As for the Padres and Angels, San Diego has shown a willingness to be unhinged in free agency and on the trade market, while Anaheim simply might just need (local Californian) name recognition in a lineup that will almost be devoid of any of it if Ohtani leaves and Mike Trout continues to deal with injury issues.

Yankees insiders speculate team's offseason recourse for Giancarlo Stanton

Kirschner and Kuty describe Stanton as a "consolation prize" worth considering for the aforementioned teams, which isn't exactly the most endorsing label, but it's at least something. It gets darker, however, when they start the DFA discussion for post-2025 (at that point, he'll be signed for two more years and $34 million).

But it seems the only way a potential trade would work is if Stanton became a ~$12 million AAV player for anyone who's interested, which would require the Yankees to take on $30 million of his contract to make that happen. Would they just rather him keep playing for them for another two years before the $34 million DFA starts to appear more reasonable?

In looking at a team like the Dodgers, who have managed to succeed admirably with someone like Martinez in the DH spot, it'd even be a tough sell for them. Martinez is better. He's making $10 million this year, and probably wouldn't require much more than that come free agency given his age and inability to play defense. Why would the Dodgers overextend themselves and create a sort of financial inflexibility by taking on $48 million for the next four years (that's if the Yankees eat $30 million)? It just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

How many more sunk costs or overpays can the Padres afford? How many more overall letdowns can the Angels afford? This thought exercise is an intriguing one for Yankees fans looking for creative solutions to cut the excess inefficiency off this roster, but it's looking more and more like the Yankees are wed to Stanton for at least another two seasons because of the countless hurdles required to get rid of him as early as this November.